Ok Guys, Holiday season is *officially* upon us, and with it, the craziest shopping weeks of the year. Yippie...or Yikes, depending on your outlook.
Believe it or not, I'm not a huge shopper. I work in retail, and I love clothing (obviously) and pretty things (duh) but I tend to be the type of shopper that has a plan; I'm always on a mission for something specific and very rarely will you catch me browsing aimlessly, unless it's at a local craft market...That, or I'm reallllyyyy procrastinating on something!
That said, I LOVE buying gifts for people. I love the feeling of anticipation that comes right before you give a loved one something that you picked out especially for them and know is absolutely, drop dead PERFECT for them. Even better if it's something they would never have expected or picked out on their own. Even EVEN better if that perfect gift is made locally or purchased from a small business, and you can have allll the warm-fuzzies knowing that you supported someone within your own community! Now, what could be better?!
SO, to make your holiday shopping quick and painless, and to give you that added happy buzz that comes with supporting local businesses, I've put together a list of some of my absolute favourite products, all made locally, and all made my real people who you will probably run into at the coffee shop tomorrow (you just might not know it.)
Read on to discover a few of my favourite local, blooming businesses, and get inspired!
For the Self-Indulger:
Kodo is a collection of beautiful self-care products made right here in Victoria, B.C.
Ranging from aromatherapy tonics and perfume balms, to oh-so-relaxing bath soaks and facial masks (my personal favourite is the Matcha Exfoliant for buttery smooth skin!), every one of their products is created from plant-based, natural+organic ingredients that are good for the soul. Kodo's philosophy is one of mindfulness and ritual; embracing not just our physical health, but our mental, emotional and spiritual health as well.
"These days our modern lifestyles can be hectic and overwhelming at times, and it is times like these that we need to be mindful of ourselves. Remember to take time for yourself and create small daily rituals that feed your mind, body and spirit in healthy ways. Helping someone else to discover their ritual is even better still." - Couldn't have said it better.
For the Outdoorsy:
WILD Skincare brings the force and beauty of the Great Bear Rainforest right into your bathroom with it's collection of out-of-control-amazing skincare. The bodywash will leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated, while the facial moisturizers are lightweight and perfect for sensitive skin; designed specifically for when you find yourself in dry, harsh, winter conditions, be those on the mountain or in the ocean. WILD is created entirely from locally found (like, right in your own backyard) ingredients like cedar leaf, kelp and rosehips that have been used by the First Nations people of the PNW for millennia as medicine, food, and in ceremony. WILD hand-harvests these plants and marine botanicals sustainably on Haida Gwaii in Northern B.C. meaning that their harvesting doesn't exhaust ecosystems and damage precious habitat. They take what they need, and they leave the rest.
Scented with cedar leaf and labrador tea, and using wild-harvested kelp and bladderwack seaweeds as exfoliants, get ready to be rocked by the scent and feel of the true Westcoast: refreshing rain, old-growth forests, ocean breeze and moss underfoot. WILD is also unisex (!!), which means it's perfect for any hard-to-shop-for dudes on your list!!
For the Kiddos:
Tree Fort Toys makes natural wooden toys, educational games, and personalized gifts for the littles in your life. All of their products are handmade in Victoria, and trust me - you can feel the love that goes into making every special little item. Their games include Number Match, Alphabet Match, Math Set, and Symbol Match, all to help your kiddo learn the basics in a fun, inspiring way. A mini-bowling set makes for the perfect distraction on a rainy day, and personalized name blocks not only make the sweetest baby-shower gift, but also help with spelling further down the road!
All of their products are pain-stakingly hand stamped using a non-toxic wood burning tool, then sealed using organic pharmaceutical grade beeswax and organic coconut oil for safety, and maximum chew-ability. They also come in a beautiful, personalized cotton muslin bag that is perfect for gift giving, playroom storage, and transporting.
For the Nesters:
Amy, the talent behind MargieBella was formally trained in fine arts, and blends her passion for textiles and painting in her new business, named for her Grandmothers. She creates beautiful cushion covers that are not only modern and eclectic, but somehow a delicate work of art, and a strong statement piece all in one. Hand-painted fabric is backed with the softest of textiles to create these beautiful home accents that are completely unique - no two are exactly the same - ever. Her work is "special, but made for living", meaning that these "small cozy pieces of art [are perfect] to nap with, rest your head on, put your feet on, and throw at your pillow fight opponent." They are washable, dry-able, durable and ideal for long afternoons of snuggling up with hot-cocoa.
Got a nester on your list? A new home owner? A homebody who loves to spend time on the couch with a good read? These stunning pillows are made for them!
For the Hipsters:
Diamonds in the Rough Originals (DITRO) is one of the biggest hearted companies you will ever find. The brand, a long time passion project of (now, again) Calgary local Sam Mendoza, is constantly challenging stereotypes and standing up for the little guys through collaborations with local charities, and through the sale of her ever-changing staple garment, the Chari-Tee. (which is currently on it's 5th edition - #wearekindness, in support of the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Center)
Inspired by real people and places she's lived, Sam, a graphic designer by trade, created DITRO to be able to share what she is most passionate about - people. Startups, locally run businesses doing amazing things, regular everyday people breaking through adversity - for Sam, this is what it's all about. She uses her design platform to shed light on what she thinks YOU should know about, giving you the opportunity to share support and to give back, too. I should also mention that her designs are BAD-ASS and super original, often incorporating inspiration and quotes from pop-culture (think N.W.A. and Biggie, but also Alice in Wonderland) to create show-stopping tees that get attention everywhere you go.
Her most recent collaboration was in support of World Aids Day alongside the ethical jewelry brand, Tribe of Lambs, who work to support HIV positive children in India.
Check out all of the Chari-Tees here, and learn more about this amazing little company!!
For the Eco-Fashionistas:
Did you really think I would write about my favourite companies and leave (Ag)+(Au) off the list? HA!
If you've got someone on your list (ahem, this includes yourself) that loves fashion, you know what to do: head on over to our shop page and go crazy! (Psst, use code BLOG to get 15% off - a little thank you for reading this far!)
And there you have it! You're easy-peasy local gift guide to make your shopping a smashing success so that you can get down to the important stuff - drinking.
Go get 'em, Tiger!